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 YUVA SHAKTHI - Social Accountability for Every Adolescent Project
 

The programme supports the implementation of the BMGF-funded UNICEF project in new 4 districts - Mahabubnagar, Nagarkurnool, Jogulamba, and Wanaparthy Telangana, India. The programme seeks to engage adolescents (10-19 years) in order to increase their control over decisions affecting their health, education, work, marriage and to promote their civic engagement in their communities and in society. Mahbubnagar district, which recently split into four parts/districts following the Telangana district reorganization in October 2016, has been the largest in the state in terms of area and comprises a predominantly rural population (85%). It has been identified as a High Priority District (HPD) as both MMR (160) and IMR (53) are much higher than the State average of 134 and 46 respectively. High infant/child deaths are a result of a host of factors including poor sanitation, inadequate nutrition, early child marriages as well as poor health seeking behavior in the community.

The Government of India (GoI) has launched several adolescent-focused programmes, schemes, laws and legislations – SSA, RMSA, KGBVs, ICPS etc. – that have a strong adolescent development, protection and growth component, and use the lens of equity and gender, which are well articulated but lack effective implementation on the ground. There is a specific programme for adolescents – RKSK –that encompasses the need for adolescent participation to promote the accountability of service providers, but this has also been a challenge so far for most states. The National Health Mission is also well-articulated but consistent and sustained efforts are needed in states to institutionalize and integrate: while sporadic community/social audits take place there has been no specific citizen led accountability initiative for RMNCH +A.

The overall programme aim is to foster a gender-responsive and human-rights aware civil society movement to uphold rights of adolescents through formation of an NGO coalition in the district, build its capacity to work on adolescents’ issues, create gender-responsive platforms for adolescent participation and a gender-responsive mechanism to enhance social accountability on behalf of adolescents in line with GoI’s vision and programme goals (RKSK, RMNCH+A, SSA, RMSA, KGBVs, ICPS).

The Yuva Shakthi – Social Accountability for Every Adolescent Project to be implementing in 4 districts of Telangana (Mahabubnagar, Nagarkurool, Wanparthy and Jogulamba) viz a viz 650 villages of 72 Mandals (9 Villages from each Mandal). The programme seeks to engage adolescents (10-19 years) in order to increase their control over decisions affecting their health, education, work, marriage and to promote their civic engagement in their communities and in society. In this programme the adolescent forums to be formed ad activated by the project team.

BIRDS has nominated as the secretariat/legal project holder by a coalition of 8 lead NGOs of new 4 districts - Mahabubnagar, Nagarkurnool, Jogulamba, Wanaparthy who work in the domain of child/adolescent rights. BIRDS is an organization with vast experience in the field of child rights protection and a good understanding of existing child/adolescent issues. It shares UNICEF’s values and principles; it is a not-for-profit and non-partisan entity. It has demonstrated ability to undertake similar development projects successfully in past with other leading UN agencies (FAO, UNDP) as well as other international/national organizations.

Gender discrimination and domination (patriarchal system) strongly exists in the family system in rural Telangana and male voice is often decisive in fulfilment or non-fulfilment of child rights. Women and girls occupy a lower status in the society as a result of social and cultural traditions, attitudes, beliefs that deny them their rights and stifle their ability to play an equitable role in their homes and communities.

The project articulates a gender-responsive strategy to engage adolescent girls and boys in ways that will ensure their equal participation. This strategy includes methods and content to discuss negative gender norms that perpetuate inequality and violence. Specifically, the project aim to engage and mobilize an equal number of adolescent girls and boys. BalikaSanghas (Adolescent girls’ collectives), VCPCs, Childline, CWC, ICPS, JJB, Police/SJPU and CSOs working in close coordination to keep the gender and equity focus in the project activities.

Lot of activities undertaken for initiative of the project to increase adolescent participation and to promotion of health & Nutritional aspects and child issues concern.

 
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